Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SLJ Bob: In Which Arthur Runs From the Bears

The SLJ Battle of the Books posts keep coming, fast and furious.

Tender Morsels kicks Here Lies Arthurto the curb. Don't get up, Arthur! Here come the bears!

Judge Meg Rosoff tries to trick us – first she goes on and on about all that is good about Here Lies Arthur. It's not just another King Arthur retelling, not just another view at an old story. Instead, it causes the "reader to re-evaluate the way myths are made and history is told." Much like we have to re-evaluate how to read a decision, what with all this praise heaped up for a book that doesn't win.

Could Tender Morsels compete with Here Lies Arthur, Rosoff wonders.

It does, and then some.

Rosoff's reasons for selecting Tender Morsels are clear: "I was reading something utterly astonishing – beautifully written, brave, uncompromising, highly uncomfortable – but astonishing." It "blows the lid off the genre". Which, bottom line, is the basis for Rosoff's picking a winner -- not just what is a good book, or a great book, but what "blows the lid off the genre?

And then Rosoff makes me laugh, at the thought of handing Tender Morsels to a twelve-year-old, in her Team Edward t-shirt. Hmmm… do they make Team Bear t-shirts?

One final note: Interestingly, just like Rachel Cohn, Rosoff mentions her teen self, and whether her teen self would have liked the book.

(While I have a brief moment on the Internet, I still have iffy SLJ connections. So once again, I'll edit once that clears up).

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

1 comment:

Jess said...

I'd wear a Team Bear t-shirt.